The New York Islanders begin the 2021-22 season on a 13-game road trip. This is due to making sure their new arena in Belmont (UBS Arena) is 100% ready to go come the first home game. Due to this long road trip to start the new season the Isles magic number, to begin with, is 16.
Like every team, the New York Islanders want to start a new season with a good start. But of all the teams in the NHL, they have the biggest challenge to do so for the upcoming season due to their first 13 being on the road.
New York Islanders Magic Number is 16
The old adage is you can’t win the Stanley Cup in October but you can lose it. A bad start can put a team behind the 8-ball and be put in a position where they have to chase the whole regular season. The Islanders do not want to be in that position.
The blue and orange season starts on October 14th in Carolina. Then they go to Florida, Chicago, Columbus, Arizona, Vegas, Nashville, Montreal, Winnipeg, Minnesota, New Jersey, Tampa Bay, and then back to Florida versus the Panthers. Yikes.
There are three sets of back-to-backs in that initial stretch. Nine of the Islanders’ first 13 games are against playoff teams from last season. To say the least this is a tough road trip.
The Islanders’ magic number to begin the season is 16 because that’s the target for them to hit in terms of points on this 13-game trip. A record of 7-4-2 or 8-5-0 would add up to 16 points.
After this trip, the Isles will head home where 41 of their final 69 games (just under 60%) will be at home. If the Isles can hit at least 16 points they will be in a tremendous position moving forward this season.
In a best-case scenario, the Islanders do not want to have scratch and claw and exhaust themselves to the bitter end of the regular season to secure a playoff spot in the deep Eastern Conference.
Some might say a .500 road trip is fine and the Isles can jump off from that point. A .500 trip is 13 points in 13 games obviously. If the Isles can turn one of those losses into a win and one of their regulation losses into an overtime defeat that gets them 16 points. Not easy but by no means impossible.
The New York Islanders have a challenge ahead of them to start the season. But this group’s goal for this season is the ultimate prize and they know how important a good start to the season means in making this a magical year.